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New Research Highlights Shift in Workplace Balance of Power as Employees Feel More Empowered to Drive ChangeOctober 26, 2021

LONDON, October 26, 2021 – The workplace power dynamic has shifted in favour of employees, according to a new study released today from BCW, a leading global communications agency.

The inaugural International Workforce Insights Study reveals that more than half of all employees say they feel more empowered to influence change in their workplace compared to a year ago, including with their employer’s business strategy (54%), company culture (55%) and their work experience (59%). This feeling of empowerment is most pronounced among Generation Z and Millennials.

The study, of more than 7,000 employees from across five industries and six countries, which took place between August 24 and September 7, 2021, finds that, despite the widespread difficulties caused by COVID-19, the majority of employees say they feel more productive (62%), more connected to their colleagues (62%), more valued by their employer (60%) and a stronger sense of workplace community (59%) since the start of the pandemic. Three fifths also say that they have seen an increase in leadership listening to employee feedback (59%), as well as improvements to their work experience (59%), work culture (58%), and work life balance (60%) over the same period.

The research finds that flexibility is a key priority for the global workforce moving forward. Flexible hours or a hybrid work environment (67%) are the top changes employees are looking for from their organizations, with other top-ranked demands of employers including meaningful work, feeling supported / valued by managers and team members, workplace benefits / perks, and effective leadership.

Younger generations, in particular, indicated that they will likely leave their employer within the next year, with one in five Gen Z (21%) and one in six Millennials (18%) agreeing. And, the biggest difference between respondents saying they will leave their company within the next year and those saying they will stay is around whether they see a commitment to fostering culture, employee value, and the ability for employees to have their voices heard.

“The results show that the increased flexibility and effort made by organisations to connect and engage with employees throughout the pandemic has paid dividends,” said James Morley, Head of Transformation, BCW. “Employees are feeling more valued, more empowered, and more vocal about their expectations in the workplace. As leaders prepare for the ‘next normal’ – including moves to implement return to office policies – they need to be mindful of these expectations and needs. Employees increasingly want their voices heard, and failure to adequately address that will likely lead to high rates of attrition – particularly among younger generations.”

“It’s great to see employees feeling more empowered to effect positive change within their organisations. As people return to work, they'll expect this to continue,” commented Christine Trodella, Director, Workplace from Facebook. “For businesses, this means ongoing investment in the employee experience and continued focus on empathy and authenticity. Employee expectations will continue to increase whether workers are desk-based or on the frontline and businesses will need to make sure they’re turning these expectations around culture, collaboration and connectivity into reality.”

Conducted in partnership with Workplace from Facebook, further findings from BCW's International Workforce Insights Study conducted in partnership with Workplace from Facebook are available here.

Full Methodology

The International Workforce Insights Study was conducted in partnership with market research firm, Mercury Analytics, LLC. This online survey included employees of large companies (1,000+ employees) from five industries (consumer goods, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services/ insurance, and healthcare/ pharmaceutical) across six markets (USA, UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Australia). A total of 7,018 respondents were surveyed between August 24 and September 7, 2021.

About BCW

BCW is a global communications agency in the business of moving people on behalf of clients. BCW partners with clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, healthcare, public affairs, purpose and technology sectors to set strategic direction for all communications and create powerful and unexpected ideas that earn attention. Through an Earned+ offer – earned media plus paid media, creative technology, data, AI and an expanding suite of innovative capabilities – BCW moves people with power and precision to move its clients forward. BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit www.bcw-global.com.

About Workplace from Facebook

Workplace is a communication tool that connects everyone in a company, even if they’re working remotely or on the frontline. We give everyone a voice and turn companies into communities through easy to use and familiar features like Groups, Chat and Live. Today Workplace has over 7 million paying subscribers. For more information visit Workplace.com.